During the Civil War authorities in Natchez, Mississippi forced tens of thousands of freed slaves into camps built in what's known as "The Devil's Punchbowl" of Natchez

Concentration Camps - People mostly associate the term with Nazi Germany but historians say - it's true - they also existed in America.

MYSTERY MONDAY: Mass Graves Remain in "The Devil's Punchbowl" of Natchez

Posted: Jun 30, 2014 9:49 PM EDTUpdated: Jul 28, 2014 10:02 PM EDT
 
During the Civil War authorities in Natchez, Mississippi forced tens of thousands of freed slaves into camps built in what's known as During the Civil War authorities in Natchez, Mississippi forced tens of thousands of freed slaves into camps built in what's known as "The Devil's Punchbowl", local historians said.
 
Estes said that history research is his life. During his studies he said he learned that Union troops ordered re-captured black men to perform hard labor. Women and children were all but left to die in the three Estes said that history research is his life. During his studies he said he learned that Union troops ordered re-captured black men to perform hard labor. Women and children were all but left to die in the three "punchbowls".
 
"When the slaves were released from the plantations during the occupation they overran Natchez. And the population went from about 10,000 to 120,000 overnight," Westbrook said. Her research included searching through Adams County Sheriff's reports from th
 
"And even to this day they talk about wild peach trees that come up down there but no one in Natchez will eat 'em because they know what the fertilizer was," Westbrook said.
 
"Disease broke out among 'em, smallpox being the main one. And thousands and thousand died. They were begging to get out. 'Turn me loose and I'll go home back to the plantation! Anywhere but there'," Estes said.
If you have an idea for a MYSTERY MONDAY segment contact Jacob Kittilstad at jkittilstad@wjtv.com or 601-664-8839. Any idea 'History & Mystery'!

Concentration camps.

People mostly associate the term with Nazi Germany but historians say - it's true - they also existed in America.

During the Civil War authorities in Natchez, Mississippi forced tens of thousands of freed slaves into camps built in what's known as "The Devil's Punchbowl", local historians said.

Jacob Kittilstad explores this forgotten history this MYSTERY MONDAY.

Click here to watch our previous MYSTERY MONDAY: Where is 'the King' of North State Street?

Untouched fruit falls to the ground near the banks of the Mississippi River around a bend in Adams County, researcher Paula Westbrook said.

"They talk about there's the most beautiful wild peach groves down in the punch bowls," Westbrook said.

And like a peach, the area known as "The Devil's Punchbowl" has a pit: a mass grave from the 1860's, Westbrook, who co-founded Delta Paranormal Research, said.

Historians estimate that in one year following Union troops' arrivals in Natchez, up to 20,000 freed slaves died in "contraband camps" below steep bluffs.

"When the slaves were released from the plantations during the occupation they overran Natchez. And the population went from about 10,000 to 120,000 overnight," Westbrook said. Her research included searching through Adams County Sheriff's reports from the time.

"So they decided to build an encampment for 'em at Devil's Punchbowl which they walled off and wouldn't let 'em out," Don Estes, former director of the Natchez City Cemetery, said.

Estes said that history research is his life. During his studies he said he learned that Union troops ordered re-captured black men to perform hard labor. Women and children were all but left to die in the three "punchbowls".

"Disease broke out among 'em, smallpox being the main one. And thousands and thousand died. They were begging to get out. 'Turn me loose and I'll go home back to the plantation! Anywhere but there'," Estes said.

"But they wouldn't let 'em out," Estes said.

Westbrook adds that, "The union army did not allow them to remove the bodies from the camp. They just gave 'em shovels and said bury 'em where they drop."

WJTV NEWS CHANNEL 12 photographers would have liked to show viewers more of the terrain but it's just too thick with plant life to get through. The bluffs are also straight down - so not only is it dangerous to navigate, it's still very mysterious.

"It's a bed of alligators and snakes. It would take Indiana Jones, at this point, to get back in there," Westbrook said.

"Then you come on up the bluffs, the washing away bluffs, and there's the devil's punchbowl that has so many people that no one knows how they got killed or when," Estes said.

"And they're still down there. Wasted," Estes said.

"And even to this day they talk about wild peach trees that come up down there but no one in Natchez will eat 'em because they know what the fertilizer was," Westbrook said.

Even now locals might discover old skeletal remains after flooding on the Mississippi River. But, being on the Natchez Trace, sometimes it's difficult to tell which century the bones are from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins

 

AFRICAN AMERICA IS AT WAR

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICA

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON AFRICAN AMERICANS

THERE IS A RACE WAR ON BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

AMERICA'S RACISTS HAVE INFILTRATED AMERICAN POLICE FORCES TO WAGE A RACE WAR AGAINST BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

THE BLACK RACE IS AT WAR

FIRST WORLD WAR:  THE APPROXIMATELY 6,000 YEAR WORLD WAR ON AFRICA AND THE BLACK RACE

Original Post

Like  the treatment of Yazidis by Islamic crazies.

 

I saw a little part of a documentary called SHOAH that talked about the Nazi Genocide: 

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoah_(film)

The Jews tell their stories. They make sure no one forgets. They make sure everyone knows.

 

We and people at large do not know about these horrors like "The Devil's Punchbowl". How good would it be if  black filmmakers were to tell this and the many other untold stories? If we don’t tell it, ________________?

Originally Posted by DennisKalita:

Like  the treatment of Yazidis by Islamic crazies.

 

I saw a little part of a documentary called SHOAH that talked about the Nazi Genocide: 

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoah_(film)

The Jews tell their stories. They make sure no one forgets. They make sure everyone knows.

 

We and people at large do not know about these horrors like "The Devil's Punchbowl". How good would it be if  black filmmakers were to tell this and the many other untold stories? If we don’t tell it, ________________?

Black film makers and others have much material from the black experience to choose from.

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